Sebastian Vettel was grinning with pleasure in the sunshine on Sunday after claiming the 29th victory of his record-breaking career with Red Bull’s first win at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Not even a chorus of boos from Ferrari fans in the crowd during the post-race podium ceremonies could dampen his good humour after he opened up a 36-points lead in the drivers world championship.
“It wasn’t that bad — not for us anyway!” he quipped. “The sun came out as well so it doesn’t get any better. “We had good races here before, but it didn’t come together to win, then I lost it in the last lap two years ago which was my fault but I made up for that today.”
Starting from his third consecutive pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the defending triple world champion came home in unchallenged fashion at the end of a serene showing of dominant driving from the front.
It was the 25-year-old German's third win this season and came in a time of one hour, 32 minutes and 9.143 seconds. He finished a luxurious 16.200 seconds clear of second-placed Fernando Alonso of Ferrari who fought from sixth on the grid to finish on the podium.
Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes after racing at the front and leading for three laps. It was his third podium finish of the year in seven races. “Yes! At last we have won in Canada,” screamed a delighted Vettel.
Australian Mark Webber came fourth in the second Red Bull ahead of Monaco winner Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes, Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso — who came home a best-ever sixth — and Briton Paul Di Resta of Force India who finished seventh after starting from 17th.
“It was a great race and I had a great start which was important,” added Vettel. “I just kept that gap throughout the race and at some points we were a full pit stop ahead of the others. Finally, we got our first win here so it’s off the list now and it was great to win.”
Alonso said: “We didn’t have a good qualifying. I didn’t get a fast lap and the conditions were not easy, but we knew the pace in dry conditions was good. We had high hopes. I was fighting top drivers and I had very good fights with Mark, Nico and Lewis at the end. It was not easy because they are super-talented.
Hamilton, who was seeking his fourth win in Canada on one of his favourite circuits, said his Mercedes car suffered minor damage in his late battle with Alonso.